2021 is here and what a year 2020 has been. If you have been using 2020 as an excuse to procrastinate on almost everything during the lockdown, let us try to get back in shape and get things done. Here are 3 tips that I’ve been using to keep myself on track and efficient.


notes and tasks

Example: I receive a task on Monday to write some analysis and…

Personally, during this pandemic, Pinterest has been rather interesting, under the radar, and refreshing find as compared to the other social media platform. Both in terms of its popularity and stock price. Pinterest Q3 Monthly Active Users sees a 46% international growth and the stock price has surged 256% year to date.



Being a good IT project manager, is similar to maintaining a relationship whereby you have to :
1. Consider and know your partner’s preferences and wants.
2. Active listening to what your partner has to say and adapt accordingly but also able to steer your partner to the agreed path should they lose motivation or interest.
3. Provide sound and logical reasoning among your partner and your/her friends, if there are any disagreement.


My sharing is based purely on a business point of view.

Within the industry, we agreed that the main reasons most IT projects failed are due to the following reasons: 1. IT people don’t understand business requirements and/or…

For anyone asking if there a difference between the 3, Yes !!!! There is there a fine line between PowerQuery or DAX(Calculate Columns & Measures) and wrong usage could cause the data model to be less efficient (when working on huge data set). When is the optimum usage of either function? In the past few years of learning DAX & PowerQuery, it is so much easier to find a well written DAX book as compared to PQ. “Data Monkey” is by far the best PQ book, waiting for the 2nd edition. Mr.Excel on youtube is another free resources with easy…

One aspect of my job, besides data analysis, is to ensure data governance within the organization. Without much budget, we often cannot build a data product to please everyone, ensuring data governance and usability for end-users. Instead, we are relying on free software but that often comes with huge limitation
I’ll share how I get creative in creating a data product with Excel, PowerQuery, understanding how end-user interact with the final product and applying business domains knowledge on this build

Photo by Lukas from Pexels

I need to build a product that satisfies the following criteria:

  1. Free
  2. Ease of use to the end-user
  3. Ensure data…

Are you someone that process the same data frequently, like weekly or monthly but lack the resources to purchases fancy software to do so. Read on if you’re on the same boat


How many of us find ourselves in this situation whereby:

  1. You are working on a large set of data and processing same set of data monthly
  2. Lot of data cleansing
  3. Your IT department do not have time to entertain you
  4. Your department/company do not have money to invest in software for data cleansing activities
  5. Your department doesn’t have enough money for MS Flow or MS Data Platform
  6. Or…

It has been a while since the last post. Apart from dealing with a week of running a fever, I was busy helping out my friend to convert his stagnant Reports to a Self Service database for intelligence actionable reports, which I talk more later in today’s post. I was also hit by a lack of ideas on content creation but i’m writing again :)
By helping my friend, I got a few ideas for the next few upcoming post.

How do we peek inside the reports figures???

For this post, let look at how to make the transition from a traditional Excel Reports into a Self Service…

All fun and exciting stuff analytical parts always happened toward the end but there is important and critical but boring and mundane stuff like Data Cleansing.

Data Cleansing Is all about understanding the end goal, data, and developing a pattern to clean the data. A common data cleansing pattern, is lookup. So long you’re using any form of spreadsheet, there is no way, you’re not using a lookup formula within Excel. Every 8 steps i…

Imagine 6 years from now, a post covid19 world whereby everything is back to norm and MS Excel remain the norm to analyze data.

2026-You, a newly graduated student getting your first job as a Business Analyst. Your first assignment is to download Sales report from 2019–2025 throughout Asia and prepare a forecast for the next 3–5 years.
At first glance, the 2019 data seems okay but toward February 2020 there is a huge dip throughout Asia on a different period of up to 2–3 months and that begin a down trend for the next 1 year. …

We need to get from here to there. [this is our end goal]

a very simple technical drawing to get from step 1 to step 3 with PowerQuery

Here a quick recap on previous post https://medium.com/@p.zhao.y/tips-i-wish-i-know-to-creating-actionable-analytics-969161dacf68

Let start working on the data and get our hands dirty. Quick recap, our current goal is to find our best salesperson & promote from within as retaining of talent is important here too. [Do something actionable]
Calculating margin and find out why overall margin in 2019 is lower [Do something actionable]
Automate some of the work processes, e.g. updating the sales figures or if there any changes in Salesperson or Customer information.

Zhao Yong

Because less is more, I love using free, simple and powerful tools (Excel, PowerQuery, PowerBI & Python). I do more with less and bring context to analysis :)

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